How to Neutralize Oxalic Acid in Rhubarb

Like many other plants, rhubarb contains oxalic acid. The oxalic acid is used by the plants to protect themselves from predators, and in the end, we also count rhubarb as one of them. Because most people probably appreciate a delicious rhubarb cake or a refreshing rhubarb drink.

Neutralizing oxalic acid in rhubarb – you should know that

Rhubarb, which by the way is a vegetable and not a fruit, not only tastes delicious but also contains oxalic acid. Oxalic acid can be dangerous for you under certain circumstances, although small amounts are usually not harmful to a healthy person.

  • Depending on the weather, the rhubarb season begins around April and ends on St. John’s Day. It’s June 24th and it’s a date you should definitely keep, as it plays a big role in the oxalic acid content of the stemmed vegetable.
  • The oxalic acid content increases as the rhubarb ages. Therefore, the old rule of thumb applies that the rhubarb season ends on St. John’s Day. Young rhubarb, on the other hand, has comparatively little oxalic acid, so you should grab it at the beginning of the rhubarb season.
  • Large amounts of oxalic acid promote, among other things, the formation of kidney stones and also prevent the small intestine from absorbing the calcium that is important for us. You should exercise caution when consuming rhubarb, especially if you tend to form kidney stones or have other kidney problems. If you take medication regularly or suffer from an illness, you should consult your doctor in advance.
  • In order to avoid unpleasant consequences from the delicious knotweed plant, the older rhubarb in particular is peeled. This removes a large proportion of the oxalic acid, as this settles directly under the peel. The hard shell of the stick vegetables can usually be peeled off very easily. In addition, it is often recommended, especially with older rhubarb, to blanch it, as this way the oxalic acid is largely washed out.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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